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Altorientalische Forschungen

Ed. by Novák, Mirko / Hazenbos, Joost / Mittermayer, Catherine / Suter, Claudia E.

CiteScore 2018: 0.21

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.137
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.709

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Volume 40, Issue 1


Here a God, There a God: An Examination of the Divine in Ancient Mesopotamia

Michael B. Hundley
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  • Georgetown University Department of Theology Box 571135 New North 120 Washington D.C. 20057-1135
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Published Online: 2014-01-09 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/aof.2013.0005


Much ink has been spilled on the examination of Mesopotamian conceptions of the divine in the past, and the topic has received renewed attention in the present. The following article offers yet another synthetic analysis of the Mesopotamian divine sphere, amassing in one place a vast array of data and the scholarly assessments of that data. More particularly, after examining what constitutes a god in ancient Mesopotamia and the essential and characteristic qualities of Mesopotamian deities, the article attempts to sort the divine sphere, focusing on the relationship between the various beings that populate the divine world and between a single deity and its various aspects. However, although synthetic, the present contribution offers several new insights.Most prominently, it posits the concept of divine constellations as a model for understanding Mesopotamian deities, in which the major Mesopotamian deities are presented as a constellation of aspects that may be treated as (semi-)independent beings or as a unity depending on the context.

Keywords: Mesopotamian Gods; Divinity; Deification; Ancient Near Eastern Panthea; Anthropomorphism

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Published Online: 2014-01-09

Published in Print: 2013-12-01

Citation Information: Altorientalische Forschungen, Volume 40, Issue 1, Pages 68–107, ISSN (Online) 2196-6761, ISSN (Print) 0232-8461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/aof.2013.0005.

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